Off-Road Camping (17)

Couple Converts Airport Shuttle Bus into Home on Wheels

After graduating from college, Pete Thuli and Taylor Bucher spent 10 months traveling through Southeast Asia, and when they returned home to the U.S., they realized how much of their own country they had never seen.

“We knew that committing ourselves to an office job straight out of college wouldn’t make us happy, so we started brainstorming ways we could travel and work for an extended amount of time,” the couple told TODAY Home. Their winning idea: an 80-square-foot van that needed some TLC.

Originally a San Diego airport shuttle bus, the van had also been most recently used as a construction vehicle. When they bought it for $4,500, there were a lot of random accessories and additions that each owner had added to it and modified…

Post a comment
'>

Nomadic Photographer Lives, Works & Travels in Teardrop Trailer

So many of us perform the duties and live the lives that’s expected of us: kids that conform to the rules at home and school, or the responsible parent that works hard at a boring day job to provide for their kids. But there’s probably also many of us that harbour fantastical inklings of dropping everything to travel and to pursue our true passions. Yet, it’s likely that many of us won’t make the plunge, probably because we fear change and the prospect of the unknown.

But change — and uncertainty — can be good. For American freelance photographer Mandy Lea, change came in the guise of a teardrop trailer that she calls her home — a mobile place of belonging that she feels connected to as she travels the country, snapping incredible images of nature. For the last two years, she’s been a full-time solo “teardropper”, visiting some of the most majestic spots one could imagine.

Post a comment (1 comment)

Mike Basich's Custom Snowchaser

11truck-copy

Photo by Evan Kahn

dcs_0646-copy

Photo by Mike Basich

He bought a 1999 Dodge Ram and started by cutting out the back cab and fitting a massive custom roll bar made out of 2″ square tubing where the end of the cab used to be. He then built a custom camper to fit the truck bed, with a liftable top. This way, after the snowmobile is secured, the roof could raise to allow for a more comfortable living space…

Post a comment

The 2,500-Mile Across-USA Expedition of Bernie Harberts and His Mule Polly

333Hi Lloyd,

Last we spoke, I was telling you about the “Lost Sea Expedition.” It was just mule Polly and me traveling across the U.S.A. in our wagon. We were looking for stories behind the Lost Sea, the ancient seabed that once covered the Great Plains.

I filmed the journey without a film crew, support vehicle or sponsor. I charged my camera gear off the solar panel bolted to the wagon roof. Now, that footage has been turned in to the “Lost Sea Expedition” TV series.

First, a bit about the journey:

As I bumped across the U.S.A. in my wagon, I folks what they knew about the Lost Sea. Early on, a Lakota elder told me about “buffalo stones” — fossils from a marine creature called a baculite. From there, the story took off in all directions. I thought I was looking for a vanished sea. Instead, I unearthed an all-American web covering topics as far ranging as the Ogallala Aquifer, creationism, evolutionism, prairie fever, and Depression-era horse breaking.

Who knew that diving in to the origins of a long-vanished sea would turn in to a journey to the heart of America?

2,500-mile wagon route across America

I think I dove so deep in to the fabric of America because I went so small. I traveled in the manner of our ancestors, men in wagons with time and high hopes but not much money. I built the wagon myself. It was so tiny, I could heat it with a few candles and my mule Polly could pull it alone. It was big enough for my film gear, a few clothes and some food … just.

IMG_6668.jpeg

A visitor checks out the wagon. At just over 30 inches, it soon became clear why my friends referred to it as the MRI machine (or the porta-john). Damn, I could barely roll over in that thing, a task that got tougher and tougher the higher I piled the sleeping bags!

IMG_8712.jpegOut there rolling across the land, I learned that the smaller you travel, the more you expose yourself to the weather, the heat, the cold, the ups and downs and the people you meet along the way. Because my mule needed to eat and drink every day, I was limited in how far I could travel every day. On average, I went 8 to 10 miles before knocking off for the night.

That meant every day, wherever I was a few hours before dark, that’s where I spent the night. That also meant I knocked on a LOT of doors asking my well-prepared line, “Hi I’m Bernie and this is my mule Polly. Do you have a place we could camp for the night?”

And that, that dependence on strangers met along the way, that documenting all weathers, animals and climes, is what gives the “Lost Sea Expedition” such incredible insight in to America.

I made the “Lost Sea Expedition” for all those people who dream of adventuring, running away, or just taking a break from life’s responsibilities. I made this series for all the folks I met on the road who said, “Man, I’d love to do what you’re doing but…” and then they’d give me reasons why they couldn’t break free. Hopefully, it will inspire others to finally break the bonds of what’s keeping them back.

Plenty more about the Lost Sea Expedition at www.lostseaexpedition.com.

Post a comment

Bernie Harberts' Lost Sea Expedition TV Series

Bernie Harberts was featured in our book Tiny Homes (pp. 188–189). He traveled from Canada to Mexico for 14 months in a 21-square-foot wagon pulled by a mule. Here is a letter we just received from him.

Dakota_snow_travel-A

Howdy Lloyd,

Many mule miles, no letters…

You featured mule Polly and her wagon in your Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter book. That story continues.

What I never really said much about is that I filmed that 14-month voyage across America. That voyage is now the “Lost Sea Expedition” TV series. The site and official trailer are at: www.lostseaexpedition.com.

I’ve attached some photos for you. I’d love to share the story and news with your blog readers.

Hell, I know you’re busy. You write you could use a clone. No worries. I’ll write the content for you. Just tell me what would work for you (short article, picture essay, blog post, etc).

Hope you and the hummers are well. You and I have lived for we know the jubilation of a thawed hummer flying from our hands!

Keep groovin’
–Bernie Harberts
www.lostseaexpedition.com
A Man A Mule America

Post a comment

Foot-Powered Washing Machine Available for Purchase

yirego_drumi_washerThe Drumi is designed for campers, students, off-gridders or anyone else who would rather use their foot to power their wash loads than electricity. At only 22 inches tall, the Drumi can handle 6 or 7 individual garments (about 5 lbs of clothes) at once, but only one pair of jeans. (If you’ve ever hand-washed a pair of jeans, this makes perfect sense to you.) Ideal for delicate items or baby clothes, the Drumi uses only five liters or just over a gallon of water to clean a load of clothes.

Post a comment (2 comments)

UK Artists Seek Work-Exchange Projects Around Europe

makingitupaswegoalong6

CNV00032Dear Shelter Blog,

We are two artists from the UK who in July last year left the busy London life behind us to live in and to explore Europe and beyond. After graduating from Camberwell College of Arts with degrees in Fine Art in 2013, we moved out of our flat in London and traded the flat keys for a set of van keys, which we converted into our new home.

Our aim is to volunteer with projects around Europe, in order to gain experience in natural building and ecological living. We’re trying to discover ways of living that aren’t dominated by money and capitalism, where value is put upon gift and exchange to deepen inter-personal connection and equality. We spend 90% of our time doing work-exchange projects, having fabulously rich experiences in different cultures, communities, natural building and self-sufficient living, exchanging our help for food and living space. We create objects from recycled materials and waste plastic from the beach that we sell on a pay-what-you-can-afford basis. Holly is also a qualified yoga teacher, teaching classes where she can (also pay-what-you-can-afford). We try to live simply, to explore, experience and to gain a greater connection with communities and the natural world.

CNV00027Using the inspiration and knowledge we’ve gained from our journeys, we hope to build a hand-built space, using natural and recycled materials, for yoga and creativity, with particular emphasis on providing for those with learning difficulties or disabilities and/or past trauma.

We collate photography and short stories/descriptive writing online on our website: www.makingitupaswegoalong.com

Right now we’re getting together our documentation of some of the methods of living a more sustainable life adopted by the families/eco-communities we’ve worked with throughout Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.

Read More …

Post a comment

Houseboat in Southwest England

IMG_5245-lo-res

My name is Erin, and I live on this boat, Jenny, outside Bristol in Southwest England. I am a printmaker and relocated here about a year ago. The boat is about 6 feet wide by 42 feet long, around 300 square feet of interior space. There is a real sense of community in houseboat living; we all look out for each other.Š

–Erin MacAirt

This is Sneak Preview #6 from our forthcoming book, Small Homes, to be published in October, 2016.

IMG_5083-lo-res IMG_5171-lo-res

Read More …

Post a comment

Visit from Cyrus Sutton and Anna Ehrgott

P1130118

Cyrus Sutton and his girlfriend Anna Ehrgott dropped by the Shelter office last week. Cyrus is a surfer, director, photographer, and all-around amazing person. His girlfriend Anna Ehrgott is just as an amazing person as Cyrus: a great surfer, she started her own surfboard bag company, Sagebrush Bags (made with recycled coffee bean sacks), and is an amazing photographer.

I met Cyrus the other year when we were working on Tiny Homes on the Move; he had just built a van for a trip down the West Coast in search for surf (featured in the film Compassing, below). He just sold the van recently to the owner of one of the local surf shops and happened to be in town for a week. Cyrus recently got the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van and has plans to do some conversions soon.
Read More …

Post a comment

Kim and Don Greene's Fuso Renovation

102-1

105Kim and Don Greene built the 2003 Mitsubishi Fuso Overland Camper interior using their international experience as a guide. The shell was commercially built and mounted on the chassis by Unicell to meet all U.S. highway D.O.T. regulations. Most custom campers are not approved for highway travel. The walls are insulated with two inches of polyurethane and foam block, plus the fiberglass, plus 3/8″ plywood.

The Greenes have taken this camper from the arctic to the antarctic, through parts of Africa and other countries. The camper and truck are so well built that nothing has broken. Everything still functions well. The Fuso FG is a commercial 4×4 truck, not a consumer truck like Ford, Chevy or Dodge. The components are designed for long-term use.

www.pauljensencustom.blogspot.com/…

Post a comment

The Amazing Transforming Castle Truck

Castle-Truck-Foldout-2

This amazing transforming house truck, created by New Zealanders Justin and Jola, compacts into a street-legal truck (with turrets). Once parked, the house truck completely folds out, expands immensely, and transforms into a fantasy castle.

Castle-Truck-Compact-Montage

The truck in its compact, ready-to-roll form

Read More …

Post a comment (10 comments)